For better or worse, almost every country in the world has some immediate association based on name alone. France conjures up thoughts of fine wine, Italy has its cuisine, and so on.
Greece is known (and marketed) around the world as a top summer holiday destination. From May to September its beaches attract millions of tourists, and provide a major source of revenue for an otherwise cash-drained state. In all the rage that is the Greek summer tourism season, there’s another, lesser known fact about the country that’s overlooked.
It’s full of mountains.
With the rugged terrain around the country comes the opportunity for a winter sports culture to develop, and thrive. However, Greece, because of both its categorization as a summer destination, along with a lack of organization, and funding for non-traditional athletics, up until now it’s been somewhat cut out of the public eye for winter events. A group of snowboarders are looking to change all that though, and are using crowdfunding to document the country’s snowboarding community.
What’s The Plan?
The concept is simple. Make a documentary film on Greece’s snowboarding community. Both the history of the scene, which has existed since the late 70’s will be covered, along with extensive footage of the country’s many mountain ranges which the makers of the film feel are ideal for pushing Greece into a more global spotlight. The piece is fittingly named “The Thing About Greece…A Snowboard Documentary”
Of course, documentaries don’t make themselves, and funding is required for the project. For this, the director of the piece Themi Lambridis reached out to the world through a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo.
For those who might not be aware, crowdfunding is now seen more than ever as an effective alternative for investment in an array of ventures ranging from startups to media projects like this. Traditional investors, namely VC firms aren’t always approachable, and in instances where the main objective is a simple showcase of a specific market, in this case snowboarding in a place where the trade is almost unheard of on a global scale, it offers the makers of a project an important outlet to capital around the world.
Nice To Meet You
To learn more about the film, we interviewed Themi, and had him talk about what he hopes to get out of the project, along with his general experience as part of a crowdfunding campaign, and the perks it might offer as opposed to traditional investment. Here’s what he had to say:
- As the documentary alludes to even in the title, Greece isn’t really known for its mountains, and winter sports culture. For an outsider looking in, or someone considering a trip for snowboarding, what does the country have to offer?
- How did this initiative get started? What motivated you to showcase the country’s snowboard culture on a scale like this?
- The film mentions Greece having a snowboarding scene since the late 70’s. Besides heading to the mountains and shooting, is there also a look into the history of the sport in the country?
- As a director, who has worked on other projects in the past, is this Indiegogo campaign your first attempt at crowdfunding a film?
- What do you make of the response you’ve gotten so far both from the local community and beyond? Has using a crowdfunding scheme connected you with individuals from places you wouldn’t have expected?
- Do you feel crowdfunding a project like this has any major perks as opposed to dealing with a more established funding source, or even a single private investor?
- What do you want someone unaware of snowboarding in Greece to get out of the documentary?
I want them to consider coming here for their next ski holiday!
- Anything else our readers should know?
Crowdfunding is a valuable tool for any venture. The beauty is in the ability it offers to connect with individuals who share a common passion, and provide the backing needed to turn a simple idea into reality. Just a few years ago a campaign like this might have fallen on deaf ears, unable to garner substantive backing even through the local community. At this point though, Themi, and the rest of Greece’s snowboarding community have a realistic outlet to the world around them, and hopefully will be able to showcase the country’s winter sports culture to the world.